Old Age

My Grandmother by Elizabeth Jennings

‘My Grandmother’ by Elizabeth Jennings is a thoughtful poem about one person’s relationship with her grandmother and her grandmother’s passion—collecting antiques. 

Queenhood by Simon Armitage

‘Queenhood’ by Simon Armitage was written to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It celebrates the Queen’s lifetime of service and describes the unique features of her life. 

My Grandmother’s Houses by Jackie Kay

‘My Grandmother’s Houses’ by Jackie Kay is a thoughtful recollection of youth and a young speaker’s relationship with her eccentric grandmother, who is forced to move homes.

Women and Roses by Robert Browning

‘Women and Roses’ by Robert Browning conveys a man’s perspective on women throughout time. They are represented by three apples on his metaphorical apple tree.

The Old Fools by Philip Larkin

‘The Old Fools’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about what happens when one grows older and begins to forget about their life.

Epilogue by Robert Browning

‘Epilogue’ is a perfect bid-adieu poem to leave behind amidst a great body of poetic works if one is as great a poet as Victorian-era maestro Robert Browning.

Splendour in the Grass by William Wordsworth

‘Splendour in the Grass’ by William Wordsworth is an excerpt from the poet’s much longer, ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.’ The excerpt describes aging and where, after their youth has ended, one should seek strength and happiness.

Yesterday by W. S. Merwin

In ‘Yesterday,’ Merwin presents the conversation between two individuals regarding their last meeting with their fathers. This interesting conversation centers on the irony of human relationships.

Spooning by David Mason

David Mason’s ‘Spooning’ appears in the 1991 winter issue of The Hudson Review. This poem is about a speaker recapturing his dead grandfather’s life.

The Youngest Daughter by Cathy Song

‘The Youngest Daughter’ was published in Cathy Song’s first poetry collection Picture Bride (1983). This poem explores the relationship of an aging daughter and her mother.

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale

‘Moonlight’ is a short lyrical poem by Sara Teasdale that uses various literary devices to depict the sorrows of a troubled youth.

Bereft by Robert Frost

‘Bereft’ by Robert Frost is a beautiful poem that exemplifies a speaker’s loneliness. He uses natural imagery to depict the changes in his life and how he feels about the world. 

Nani by Alberto Ríos

‘Nani’ by Alberto Ríos is a multi-layered poem. In it, the poet addresses themes like family, heritage, and the past. 

Alzheimer’s: The Wife by C. K. Williams

‘Alzheimer’s: The Wife’ by C. K. Williams is a powerful and moving poem. In it, the poet depicts a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s and a few simple moments from her day.

I Saw From the Beach by Thomas Moore

‘I Saw From the Beach’ by Thomas Moore is a thoughtful poem. It considers the soul and passion and how the two things change over time as one ages. 

Men at Forty by Donald Justice

‘Men at Forty’ by Donald Justice is a moving poem about aging and fatherhood. The speaker is describing what it’s like for all men when they reach forty and consider their pasts and presents.

From Blank to Blank

‘From Blank to Blank’ by Emily Dickinson is a dark poem that ends in a more uplifting manner. She spends the lines discussing how complex life is and how hard it can be to navigate.

He ate and drank the precious words

‘He ate and drank the precious words’ by Emily Dickinson is an uplifting poem. It celebrates the joys of reading by describing one man’s experience.

A little Dog that wags his tail

In ‘A little Dog that wags his tail’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of human nature, the purpose of life, and freedom. She compares animals, cats and dogs, to adults and children.

Tree At My Window by Robert Frost

‘Tree At My Window’ by Robert Frost celebrates the speaker’s love for nature. He focuses in on one specific tree outside his window that’s meant a lot to him.

I look into my glass by Thomas Hardy

‘I look into my glass’ by Thomas Hardy describes the painful process of aging and how one’s mental age is not always in line with one’s physical. 

Rising Five by Norman Nicholson

‘Rising Five’ by Norman Nicholson describes how one’s perspective on life and time changes from birth, to childhood, adulthood, and to old age. 

Beautiful Old Age by D.H. Lawrence

Beautiful Old Age is a poem in which Lawrence imagines a world in which old age is truly revered and hoped for, & describes what that world would feel like.

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